Month: May 2018

Questions about PBL messaging from the RSU5 district

So, it’s been a bit quiet recently, and the upcoming school board meeting (on 5/23) is set to focus on admin tasks and not allow for public comment, but there have been a few parents asking some additional questions and I wanted to share some of what’s been discovered recently.

One interesting piece that came up was what one parent flagged as a concern in the Freeport High School’s PBL handbook: It’s a concern we’ve brought up quite a bit — where’s the evidence-based research (or even “scholarly” research — not done at the behest of a company paying for it or benefiting from it) that supports proficiency-based learning and grading as all it’s sold to be — and how it will affect kids applying to college.

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Budget Meeting – Wednesday, May 23rd at DCS

The Annual Budget Meeting will be held this Wednesday, May 23rd at Durham Community School at 6:30 pm. This is the meeting where citizens vote for the school budget article by article (town-hall style, with the yellow cards) and have the opportunity to make amendments. The budget approved that night will then be sent to a referendum vote on June 12th.

This year’s budget represents a 2.31% increase over last year’s, which translates into a 0.93% tax impact for Durham, 3.04% for Freeport and 3.83% for Pownal.

All budget documents can be found on the RSU website at

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Update: York schools to introduce grading changes

This “rush” to put a system in place is what Convery said he was speaking about. “We have a proficiency-based learning structure that has way too many problems because we were rushed. We need a structure to honor the traditional norms that our community values. We want honor rolls to recognize our kids. This is not hard.”

High school French teacher Nancy Stevens, however, urged the committee to separate the grading system from proficiency-based learning itself – which she supports and said is geared to helping all students reach their potential. The targets for learning which underpin PBL are pivotal to student achievement. “I believe in the power of proficiency-based learning because I’ve been implementing it for the past 20 years.”

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York Parents: Report cards don’t make the grade

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Pearson Efficacy Study Highlights the Challenge of Letting Students Retest

But new, externally audited, efficacy research from Pearson about one of the company’s apps shows a significant correlation between increased retesting and lower overall course performance.

The results of the study pose big questions for reform-minded educators who advocate for students to have multiple chances on exams. The new research suggests that far from mastering concepts, students may simply be retaking quizzes on education technology platforms until their score increases, which may actually hurt their overall learning progression.


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